Democracy Fund

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Welcome to the Family — Electionline.org becomes a Democracy Fund Project

By Stacey Scholl / 2018 January 3rd

Tammy Patrick co-authored this piece with Stacey Scholl.

At Democracy Fund, we believe that Americans deserve modern, voter-centric elections as a part of a responsive political system. As a grantmaker, this means investing in other organizations, projects, and platforms that support the spread of good information and foster dialogue. At times, it can also mean developing and creating our own internal efforts. In that spirit, we are excited to welcome electionline.org as a Democracy Fund project and to continue working with Mindy Moretti as the site editor.

Electionline.org is the nation’s only nonpartisan, non-advocacy clearinghouse for election administration news and information. Over the last 17 years, former editor Doug Chapin and current editor Mindy Moretti have provided a unique place where election administrators can find news relevant to their work — apart from political horse races and partisan campaign rhetoric. Daily and weekly content illustrates the routine business of our American elections and features stories ranging from serious issues with ballots to lighthearted moments with poll workers.

Democracy Fund has been a long-time supporter of electionline.org, providing significant financial support since 2014. As the partnership grew, we had the space to consider what the future could look like for both organizations — and an agreement was made to bring the project within Democracy Fund. Over the next year, Democracy Fund will work with Mindy to manage and grow the site. It will continue to operate through a strictly nonpartisan lens and with a commitment to transparency about the role our organization plays. Our goal is to ensure the site remains a trusted source of the latest news, tools, and best practices for accessible and secure elections.

Over the years, several organizations who care about the quality of American elections have contributed to building and sustaining the electionline.org website, including The Pew Charitable Trusts and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. We value their contributions and they cannot go unthanked for their vision for the site. We also remain so grateful to Doug and Mindy for their pioneering work. Doug explained that the site grew bigger and better than he ever expected. He’d originally hoped that the site would prompt national and local media outlets to take on election administration as a routine beat after a few years, making the site unnecessary over time. That hasn’t happened, but electionline.org has outlasted his initial prediction as a result, becoming a truly one-of-a-kind place for the elections community.

Part of Mindy’s passion for the site is that “there is a story behind every vote cast. There is a story behind every new innovation or piece of equipment purchased.” And while electionline.org might have started as Doug’s baby, it has been Mindy’s unruly teenager and she’s glad that the site now has a home and “co-parent” with Democracy Fund.

While we’re working on what the future holds, not much is going to change immediately. Regular electionline.org readers will see Democracy Fund’s commitment to disclose when weekly articles cover our grantees or other work in the field. As always, the site will have a curation of daily news and a weekly feature about the election world. And Mindy will work with Democracy Fund’s Elections team to grow the network of readers and enhance the types of information available on the site.

For those new to electionline.org, we hope you will check out these posts and research:

As a systems change organization, Democracy Fund is committed to learning, iteration, and partnering in ways that strengthen both our work and the field at large. We understand that addressing challenges in our elections system will take patience, persistence, and a deep partnership with administrators, officials, and advocates across the United States. For this reason, we anticipate that changes and updates to electionline.org will be a collaborative process. We plan to relaunch a new design for electionline.org after evaluating how it can be even more useful to the election administration community. Please email us at elections@democracyfund.org with your thoughts and feedback.​

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